Clinical FeaturesConferenceEndocrine/Metabolic

Record attendance at DICE 2024 conference focusing on improving diabetes care in Ireland

On the 22nd of May, Diabetes Ireland Conference & Exhibition (DICE) saw its largest ever attendance with over 380 healthcare professionals working in the field of diabetes attending the event held in the Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin. Throughout the day, delegates heard from a host of national and international speakers presenting on a wide range of topics and issues, covering paediatric diabetes care, pregnancy, adult Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes care all aimed at providing delegates with new practical information to enhance their continuing professional development.

From a Type 2 diabetes perspective, delegates were updated on current and new Type 2 diabetes and obesity medications and treatments, exercise and the new model of integrated care network in primary care. There were research presentations on epidemiological research to improve diabetes care and behavioural interventions to improve long-term Type 2 diabetes self-management.

Type 2 diabetes and pregnancy was also a hot topic for discussion with presentations on providing virtual gestational diabetes care services and enhancing pre-pregnancy care and Type 2 diabetes prevention following gestational diabetes. Other topics included metformin use in women with GDM and the benefits of technology in pregnancy care for women with pregestational diabetes and outcomes of retinal screening in women with diabetes during pregnancy. Moreover, speakers from Ireland, UK and Denmark also shared their expertise about stigma associated with diabetes in pregnancy, and technology use to enhance diabetes management in pregnancy.

Diabetes technology loomed large in relation to topics around Type 1 diabetes management. Beginning from the topic of hypoglycaemia recognition in the age of continuous glucose monitoring systems (CGM), through to the findings on technology use in people with type 1 diabetes, based on the Diabetes Ireland survey on accessing care, as well as practical advice from Professor Rob Andrews, international expert in exercise and diabetes, who provided an excellent overview of diabetes self-management tactics for exercising with type 1 diabetes.

From a paediatric diabetes perspective, delegates learned about the use of hybrid closed loop systems in children and adolescents with diabetes and how to manage family conflict and collaboration in diabetes management. Delegates were also updated on the growing issue of Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents, the prevention and prediction of vascular complications in youths and population screening for Type 1 diabetes. There were also presentations on the adolescent experiences of school life, and a report on the transition of care from paediatric to adult diabetes care units in Ireland.

The Keynote Lecture was delivered by Professor Partha Kar, Type 1 Diabetes and Technology Lead, NHS England, which focused on leading change to improve access to diabetes technology and the need for collaboration of all stakeholders to improve lives of those living with diabetes. The inspiring and very well-received talk from Professor Kar was followed by a session focusing on the gaps and improvements needed in diabetes health services and care in Ireland, and updates from the HSE national clinical leads in diabetes (paediatric –Professor Michael O’Grady, adult – Professor Derek O’Keeffe), and key leads in pregnancy (Professor Fidelma Dunne), diabetes registry (Professor Sean Dinneen) plus Diabetes Ireland Wellbeing focused initiatives (Ms Sinead Powell).

The panel discussion with all the above-mentioned speakers focused on the steps required to improve diabetes care with delegates encouraged to work together with people living with diabetes calling for a National Diabetes Strategy that would see improvements in local diabetes services nationwide. Confirmation that a strategy was very much on the radar of the Minister for Health was warmly welcomed bringing some hope that continuous collaboration and strong advocacy from the diabetes community will bring better care to people living with diabetes in Ireland.

‘It was great to see so many people attending the meeting and spending their day learning from the best international and national experts in all areas of diabetes care – commented Mr Kieran O’Leary, the CEO of Diabetes Ireland. –We would like to thank all the attendees, sponsors and speakers who made this day so remarkable and brought hope for further improvements in the care and lives of people living with diabetes in Ireland. A lot of organisation goes into DICE each year and I would also like to acknowledge my colleagues for delivering the best attended DICE conference ever. Roll on DICE 2025.

Read HPN June 2024

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